Authorities search for ex-husband of murder victim

The search is on for the ex-husband of a Mandeville woman whose body was discovered Sunday night along Interstate 12 in Covington.

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office is looking for Calvin Jefferson, who they say is responsible for Nicole Jefferson's murder.

Two days after the body of a woman was discovered in a wooded plot of land along Interstate 12, St. Tammany Parish coroner Dr. Peter Galvan confirmed the body belongs to 31 year old mother of four, Nicole Jefferson. Galvan said Tuesday, "This case represents the advanced stages of decomposition that a body undergoes in the heat of southern Louisiana."

Sheriff's deputies in St. Tammany believe Jefferson's ex-husband, Calvin is responsible for her murder. They've already obtained a second degree murder warrant for him. "We believe that Jefferson began to run when he recognized that we had intensified our investigation. Probably late into the night Wednesday and into Thursday, we had impounded his automobile. We believe that it was used in the crime, in dumping Ms. Jefferson's body," St. Tammany Sheriff Jack Strain said.

Strain says he thinks Calvin Jefferson is in Lake Charles. He also believes domestic violence played a role in Nicole's murder. The two were living together, although divorced, to care for their four children. And Calvin Jefferson had been arrested three times before for domestic violence. "We are obviously convinced at this point that domestic violence was historical in the relationship. We had been able to piece together some things to indicate there was the basis for additional domestic violence so we are confident at this point that that was a part of it," Strain said.

Nicole Jefferson was last heard from Sunday April 29th when she sent a text to her mom at about 11:30p.m. Investigators are still trying to determine what time she was killed and if the murder happened inside of her home. Strain explains, "We know that the children were in the home Monday morning, late night Sunday night. It's possible, quite possible that the murder could've occurred there or somewhere on that property."

Because Nicole's body was so badly decomposed, the coroner also wasn't able to determine how she was killed. Dr. Galvan says he hopes to eventually find that out, but in the meantime, Sheriff Strain says his deputies are in Lake Charles, trying to locate Calvin Jefferson.

The Jefferson's four kids are now staying with Nicole's mother.